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Broadway Box Office: Healthy Numbers for Thinning Slate

Variety logo Variety 1/18/2017 Gordon Cox
© Provided by Variety

The Broadway lineup continued to thin out last week as three more shows — “Jersey Boys,” “The Humans” and “Holiday Inn” — played their final bows. But there still seemed plenty of demand for the titles that were still hanging around during the January chill, helping the Broadway box office keep warm.

“Jersey Boys” ($1,325,582) wrapped up an 11-year run with sold-out houses, while last season’s Tony champ “The Humans” ($789,188) had its second-best week ever (coming in behind the boffo tally it logged during the holiday week). The Roundabout Theater Company’s nonprofit production of “Holiday Inn” ($535,622) upticked, too, in its last days.

With 25 shows running last week as opposed to the 29 playing the week prior, total box office slipped almost $3.7 million (or about 12%) to $25.9 million as attendance fell almost 35,000 to 225,416. Those drops line up pretty evenly with the missing shows, leaving the productions still playing to pull in crowds at 91% of overall capacity. The average price paid per ticket — a good indicator of overall demand — notched up to $114.77.

That uptick makes sense, since many the remaining shows are the ones for which demand stays sturdy throughout the year. At the top of that list: “Hamilton” ($2,451,260), followed by “The Lion King” ($1,800,719), “Wicked” ($1,668,863) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,459,027).  Among plays, “The Front Page” ($1,054,043), which ends its limited run Jan. 29, remained the top-selling nonmusical, although Cate Blanchett in “The Present” ($1,030,574) gave it a run for its money, joining the millionaires’ club for the first time since it began Broadway performances in late December.

Meanwhile, buzzy “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,041,063) continued to post big numbers in one of Broadway’s smaller theaters, while another strong-selling opener from the fall, “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” ($1,190,344) also held steady. “A Bronx Tale” ($935,267), which looks like it has a strong shot at attracting the “Jersey Boys” crowd, rose a bit, too. Meanwhile, the recently recouped “Oh, Hello on Broadway” ($762,605) posted one of its best tallies yet prior to its Jan. 22 closing.

Look for Broadway sales to continue to dip in the coming week or two, as two more shows exit — “Oh, Hello” and “The Front Page” — and new titles don’t start up until “Sunset Boulevard,” looking like a big draw with Glenn Close in her Broadway return, kicks off Feb. 2.

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